We like to go to opening night shows when we can. Since we had plans for the Thursday evening when Civil War opened, we ended up seeing it at 1:15 in the A crikey M on Friday. Which meant we got home after the show at 4:30 in the morning. A few days later, we’re still catching up on our sleep. [Note: a couple paragraphs down I drop a minor spoiler for people who don’t read the comics, so be forewarned.]
Sleepiness aside, we both quite enjoyed the movie. There was good action and story, without too much extraneous MCU stuff crammed in; that was something we both thought had been overdone in Age of Ultron. We both enjoyed the new young Spiderman, the first Spiderman that really does seem like he’s in high school. While Marisa Tomei was likable as Aunt May and they had some fun with a younger May, I was still disappointed by the change. Not because I expect a film adaptation to be chained to the source material, but because there are so few roles created for older actresses in Hollywood movies, so to take an older character and drop a couple decades or more off her age is a missed opportunity.
We both felt that the romance of Cap and Sharon Carter was awkwardly timed. I mean, come on, Peggy’s just died and Steve suddenly finds out the agent he has a crush on is her niece—and at the funeral, no less! That’s a bit of a head-spinner that would rain on anyone’s romantic parade. That said, the reactions of Bucky and Sam to the first kiss are perfect.
So many characters got great little scenes . . . Vision, Hawkeye, Scarlet Witch, and more. There was character development that will affect them going forward into other movies without slowing the pace of this movie. Difficult to pull that off with such a large cast, but the filmmakers did it. Similarly, the battle sequences, particularly the airport scene, packed in so much, and showed all the characters interactions, in ways that were exciting and chaotic and yet without becoming a muddle of CGI like, again, Age of Ultron.
Overall, the movie was just so balanced.The juggling of all those characters, as I just mentioned. Both sides of the disagreement leading to the war had pros and cons, so that was balanced. The amount of comedic moments and action set pieces sprinkled throughout the dramatic framework of the story was also a well-paced balance. It definitely echoes Winter Soldier in that regard, especially compared and contrasted with Age of Ultron, the disparate elements of which did not gel into a cohesive whole like the Captain America films. (Since I’ve taken Ultron to task a few times, I should grant that an MCU film that stumbles a bit is still more entertaining than a lot of genre films!)
Bottom line: the Russo brothers deliver another fine film in the MCU which makes us that much more eager for Infinity War.